Voice and Whistleblowing in Organizations

Voice and Whistleblowing in Organizations

Overcoming Fear, Fostering Courage and Unleashing Candour

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Cary L. Cooper

This book examines the decision to speak out in organizations or to keep silent, the roles of fear and courage, and why increasing valid information and truth is central to individual and organizational health. Employees in organizations face countless daily situations in which they make a choice to speak up, exercise voice, or remain silent. Too many choose to remain silent. Others only tell supervisors what they want to hear, becoming ‘yes’ men and women. Expressing one’s voice increases individual health and well-being and enhances learning, quality and timeliness of decision making, work engagement, and ultimately team and organizational success. This volume, containing chapters by international researchers, examines the causes and consequences of exercising voice and ways individuals and organizations can support voice in the workplace.

Chapter 2: Individual correlates of employee voice: what do we know so far? Where should we go next?

Isabel C. Botero

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour


Employee participation has been a topic that has interested scholars and practitioners for over 100 years (Glew et al., 1995). As organizational context become more dynamic, communication efforts that originate from employees can have important implications for organizational performance and survival. This is particularly true when the information from employees highlights problems or concerns in the way organizations work, or provides ideas and/or suggestions of how to improve current work processes (Morrison, 2011). Employee voice is a behavior that has been directly linked to participation in the organization. Although employee voice has been defined multiple ways (Van Dyne et al., 2003; Klaas et al., 2012; Morrison, 2011), it reflects a discretionary behavior in which an employee verbally communicates “ideas, suggestions, concerns or opinions about work-related issues with the intent to improve organizational or unit functioning” (Morrison, 2011, p. 375).

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